If we grew up in homes or systems (foster care) where there was no regular soothing, reassurance, or validation, the idea of self soothing ourselves seems foreign and weird. What the heck is self soothing? If we had to turn to an ego part of our psyche to stay strong when we were a child (to get through our horrific child hood) then that strong part, or tough part of our psyche doesn’t want “nothing” to do with any self soothing! We have a dilemma. What do we do? What we do is: DO IT ANYWAY. It’s the only way we can re – train and teach the brain that soothing is necessary, a vital part or piece of our recovery. We must self soothe. Remember that self soothing is different from distracting skills from DBT. Self soothing is calming and nurturing. Sometimes it helps to think about our senses when thinking about self soothing activities. Here are examples of self soothing activities:
Self Soothing Activities
Sight : Surround yourself with beautiful things to see such as pictures. You can make a vision board of beautiful places you would like to visit. Plant a small balcony garden. Garden. Go to the nearest beach. Walk on the sea wall. Walk in a community garden. Volunteer in a community garden. Sit for a few seconds take a deep breath and take in the ocean smell and feel the breeze on your face. Use Pinterest to find beautiful pictures
Sound : Beautiful sounds. Sounds of the ocean, running water, moving lake, nature, calming music without lyrics. Listening to your dog breathe, or your cat purr. Gregorian Chants Down load favorite sound applications on iPhone or smart phone. Babies laughing. Children playing, running stream, any sound that calms the nervous system.
Gregorian Chant Link (Calming the Vagal Nerve). http://inchoro.net/
Touch: Your favorite material to wear, touch, or a blanket that you love to wrap yourself in. Something to hold that is soothing such as a stress ball. Petting a pet such as a cat or dog. Play with play – doh Move your hands through warm sand. Get a favorite scented face mask for 2.00 and put on our face. Run a warm bath with favorite scented bubbles.
Smell: Your favorite aroma therapy scent example, lavender, vanilla, peppermint, spearmint. Flavored candles, incense. Coffee, Baked cookies. Cinnamon. Lemon. A favorite spice. Burn the aroma therapy in a diffuser.
Your favorite gum. A favorite candy. Favorite meal. Make your favorite dinner with favorite dessert and enjoy the meal with a favorite comedy TV show. Bake some cookies and indulge. Make some hot chocolate. Make your favorite tea. Eat some chocolate pudding or your favorite kind of pudding.
Crystal Arber CC 2014